TRENDS IN AFRICAN CHRISTIANITY AND THE USE OF HERBAL MEDICINE IN PUBLIC HEALTH DELIVERY
Traditional herbal medicine preceded modern medicine. However, misgiving and the introduction of orthodox medicine grossly affected the recognition and relevance of herbal medicine in the delivery of health care services. Notwithstanding, the use of herbal medicine continues to grow among local people because of its availability, affordability and efficacy. There is sudden recognition of the importance of herbal medicine and the government of developed and developing countries continue to give deliberate support to its production and usage. Descriptive and historical methods of study are used in this work. It is discovered that the use of African traditional herbal medicine had proved efficacious on some ailments; the biblical perspective on the use of herbs for healing is positive; but the bone of contention between traditional herbal medicine and Christianity in Africa was attribution of African traditional medicine to local deities and lack of line of distinction between divination, spiritualism and herbalism. This work recommends that with present enlightenment and understanding there is the need for consistent education, thorough research and reliable packaging that will enable Africans and the people on the other continents to benefit from the massive medicinal herbs in Africa.
KEYWORDS: Herbal medicine, health care services, Africa, Christianity,